100 Houston Bars

Anvil's head guy creates list of 100 great Houston bars to try in 10 days

Anvil's head guy creates list of 100 Houston bars to try in 10 days

News_Anvil Bar & Refuge, exterior, night
Anvil is closing for 10 days for some renovations, but Bobby Heugel has 100 suggestions for where to drink in the meantime. Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Places-Drinks-13 Celsius
13 Celsius is among Heugel's recommendations for bars with tasty wine lists. Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Anvil Bar & Refuge remodel
Workers are renovating Anvil's bathrooms and back of house areas.  Anvil Houston/Instagram
News_The Big Easy_Feb. 2010_Chris Sitz
The Big Easy is on the list of great dive bars. This photo was taken in 2010. Photo by Tony Bullard
Anvil Bar & Refuge remodel
Heugel is also providing tips to future bar owners on Instagram.  Bobby Heugel/Instagram
News_Anvil Bar & Refuge, exterior, night
Places-Drinks-13 Celsius
Anvil Bar & Refuge remodel
News_The Big Easy_Feb. 2010_Chris Sitz
Anvil Bar & Refuge remodel

Never let it be said that Bobby Heugel doesn't care about his customers.

With Anvil Bar & Refuge closed for approximately 10 days to undergo some much needed renovations to its bathrooms and back of the house areas, its head guy came up a list of 100 Houston bars to visit in the interim.

The list contains the following categories:

  • Other Clumsy Butcher affiliated bars (examples include Julep, The Pastry War; Heugel is president of Clumsy Butcher)
  • Bars Doing the Cocktail Thing (Bad News Bar, Moving Sidewalk)
  • Bars with Tasty Wine Lists (13 Celsius, Camerata) 
  • Bars to Drink Craft Brews At (D&T Drive-Inn, The Flying Saucer)
  • Your More Democratic Bar Destinations (Boheme, Cottonwood)
  • Dives You Should Visit While You Take a Break From Fancy Cocktails (Alice's Tall Texan, D&W Lounge)
  • Bars With Great Food and Drinks (Batanga, Beaver's Ice House, aka, restaurants)

The list isn't comprehensive — Stone's Throw deserves a little love on the cocktail side and one can't talk craft beer without mentioning Moon Tower Inn — but it does accomplish two important goals.

First, it celebrates the diversity of Houston's bar scene. Second, the recommendations function as both a bucket list for the educated Houston drinker and a push to check out a new spot or two. For example, while I find myself current with both restaurants and cocktail bars, I am completely deficient on dives — only eight out of 16 — a situation I plan to correct soon.

With a designated driver, of course.

Meanwhile, follow the progress of Anvil's rebuild over on Instagram. Heugel has promised to share tips of the build along the way; for example, "if you aren't insisting that your contractors build all the walls in your establishment on concrete curbs, you're missing a real chance to prevent long term water damage from mopping and other spills."

Not many business owners would give shout outs to his competition and offer suggestions to others. Give Heugel credit for going the extra mile and ensuring his customers are properly refreshed while Anvil rebuilds.

See the full list below:

100 BARS YOU SHOULD VISIT WHILE ANVIL IS CLOSED!
Listed in no particular order and roughly categorized to give you a general idea of what they're about.

OUR OTHER AFFILIATED BARS IN HOUSTON:
The Hay Merchant
Julep
The Nightingale Room
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon
(In Collaboration with Our Industry Friends)
The Pastry War
The Wine Bar at Underbelly

BARS DOING THE COCKTAIL THING:
Barringer
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge
The Commoner / The Boulevardier
Johnny's Gold Brick
Lei Low Bar
Moving Sidewalk
Prohibition Supperclub & Bar
Spare Key
Wooster's Garden

BARS WITH TASTY WINE LISTS:
13 celsius
Camerata at Paulie's
MAX's Wine Dive
Public Services Wine & Whisky
Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant
The Tasting Room Wine Cafe

BARS TO DRINK CRAFT BREWS AT:
D & T Drive Inn
Houston Flying Saucer
The Ginger Man Houston
Mongoose Versus Cobra
The Petrol Station

YOUR MORE DEMOCRATIC BAR DESTINATIONS:
Bar Boheme
CharBar
The Continental Club, Houston, TX
Cottonwood Houston
The Davenport
the dirt
Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails
Etro Lounge
Fitzgerald's
The Flat
Grand Prize Bar
Houston Watch Company
KHON'S wine.darts.coffee.art
La Carafe
La Grange Houston
Ladybirds
Last Concert Cafe
Liberty Station
Little Dipper
Onion Creek Cafe
Poison Girl Cocktail Lounge (Be sure to ask Jonas about the free birthday shots!)
Red Lion
Reserve 101
Rudyard's
Sassafras
Simone on Sunset
Walter's Downtown
Warren's Inn
West Alabama Ice House
Under the Volcano
Valhalla at Rice University

DIVES YOU SHOULD VISIT WHILE YOU TAKE A BREAK FROM FANCY COCKTAILS:
Alice's Tall Texan
The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club
Big Star Bar
Catbirds Lounge & Patio Bar
Cecil's Pub
D&W Lounge
Griffs
Jimmy's Ice House
Kay's lounge
Keneally's Irish Pub
Lola's Depot Houston Texas
Lone Star Saloon
Notsuoh
Numbers
The Rose Garden
Shiloh Club
Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge
Sunnys Bar

BARS WITH GREAT FOOD AND DRINKS:
Batanga
Beaver's Ice House
Benjy's in the Village
Brooklyn Athletic Club
Cafe Brasil
Caracol
Coltivare
Cuchara
Down House
El Big Bad
Goode Company Seafood
The Honeymoon
Hugo's
Kata Robata Sushi + Grill
Love & Squalor at Weights and Measures
Lowbrow
Mockingbird Bistro & Wine Bar
The Original Ninfa's on Navigation
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
The Pass and Provisions
Pax Americana
Pico's Mex Mex
The Queen Vic Pub
Sanctuari Bar at Triniti
Uchi Houston